Employees of the Town of Vinton are giving back to the community this holiday season by hosting a food drive and 50/50 raffle to benefit Under the Bridge Ministry, which is located at 421 Walnut Avenue in Vinton.
Each year, the town employees CARES Committee spearheads a holiday project to benefit an organization. In past years, they have held a food drive and a toy drive, both for the Military Family Support Center, a toy drive for Carilion Clinic Children’s Hospital, and a sock drive that benefited the Vinton Needy Family program and the Rescue Mission.
Under the Bridge Ministry is a “non-denominational Christian church and outreach ministry whose purpose is to fulfill the Great Commission, provide for widows, orphans, the disabled and the homeless in the Southeast Roanoke and Vinton areas.” The ministry was formed in 2012 by Pastor Frank Broughman.
Pastor Frank, as he is known, has a bus that he uses to take people to appointments, to church, and other destinations. He also runs a small food bank. If those in need can’t come to him to get the food, he will deliver it to them. On Thanksgiving, he prepared dinner for 40 people who either do not have family to spend the holiday with, and/or they are homeless and have no way to prepare their own dinner.
Broughman was named as Roanoke City’s “Unsung Hero” for 2016 for his volunteer contributions for “repeatedly giving outstanding volunteer services to actively improve and positively affect the lives and living conditions of individuals living in Vinton and southeast Roanoke.”
“I talked to Pastor Frank last week about the town hosting a food drive,” said Karla Turman in the Planning and Zoning Office. “He came into the office and I gave him a copy of the flyer. He was not aware that we are also doing a 50/50 raffle with the proceeds going to his ministry. He was very appreciative and very overwhelmed. I saw it in his eyes and heard it in his voice. That is why I love doing this every year. I am fortunate and blessed in this life, and there are many that are not.”
The town began accepting food donations and selling raffle tickets on November 27. Turman says that an anonymous donor will be matching the amount of food donated.
A donation box is located on the upper level of the Vinton Municipal Building at 311 South Pollard Street.
Employees and the public are asked to bring in any unexpired canned goods or non-perishable food items. Socks, hats, scarves, gloves, and toiletries will also be accepted.
Raffle tickets are on sale for $1 per ticket, eight tickets for $5, or for 20 tickets for $10.
Raffle tickets for the 50/50 drawing may be purchased from Karla Turman in the Planning and Zoning Office in the Municipal Building or from Bonnie Stevens in the Vinton Public Works Office on Third Street.
Donations will be accepted, and raffle tickets will be sold through December 21. The winner of the raffle will be notified on December 22.
For more information on Under the Bridge Ministry visit www.underthebridgeministry.com.